European offshore growth increases by 4.5%

EUROPE: European offshore wind capacity grew by 348MW in the first half of the year, a 4.5% rise on 2010, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

In all, 101 turbines were installed and connected to the grid in the UK, Germany and Norway. EWEA said there were currently 11 projects under construction in Europe with a total capacity of 2.8GW.

There are 1,247 offshore wind turbines fully grid connected with a total capacity of 3,294MW in 49 wind farms spread between nine European countries.

Additionally, the offshore turbine capacity has continued to rise with the average machine 3.4MW. In 2010 the average offshore turbine capacity was 2.9MW.

Christian Kjaer, chief executive officer of EWEA said: "While I see several positive trends for the European offshore wind power industry, we are not home and dry yet. The sector is coming out of the financial crisis but is still facing a potential worsening of the general economic crisis.

"The number of banks providing capital for offshore wind-farm investments is steadily growing, although there is a continued need for attracting an increasing number of large institutional investors to offshore wind farms — presently the largest construction projects going on in Europe."

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